Last week, ESPN kicked off the inaugural season of its eight-year LaLiga agreement with unprecedented coverage of the league’s 2021-22 season-opening weekend.
ESPN Vice President of Production Rodolfo Martinez, who heads production for LaLiga on ESPN+, ABC and ESPN networks, looks back to last week and ahead to an unrivaled plan of coverage and match presentation:
Martinez on the debut:
After many months of planning that involved many units across ESPN and Disney, we had a spectacular opening weekend that featured Barcelona beating Real Sociedad at home.
We had live studio in Spanish and English from Barcelona, Friday to Sunday. We built a studio set on a platform overlooking Barcelona’s Camp Nou pitch and stands. While our production team led the way, our coverage is an example of the exceptional teamwork at ESPN.
Martinez on Lionel Messi’s exit from LaLiga:
It was a stressful week because Messi leaving Barcelona was unexpected news. We had different stories for the match, but adapted quickly.
From now on, we will focus more on teams, players and weekly performances.
LaLiga is a lot more than only one player. Messi is a great player. But, we’ll focus a lot on what’s going on with the teams and players. LaLiga is a great product to have in our company.
Martinez on the common trait of the team assembled for LaLiga:
Authenticity. We have seven former players. We have commentators who have done play-by-play for years in both English and Spanish, as well as six local, Spain-based reporters. We achieved our goal to have a mix of on-air talent germane to LaLiga.
Martinez on ESPN’s breadth of content and analysis:
We have studio wraps in Spanish – Fuera de Juego. We’ll have one in English with ESPN FC.
Every weekend we’ll customize four matches in Spanish, and four matches in English, with ESPN commentators. We’ll focus on big teams – Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid – and, we will also showcase other key matchups and rivalries.
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